Base Block Production Stalls

While the issue was resolved swiftly, it highlights problems of centralization for Base and many other blockchain networks.

Base Block Production Stalls

Coinbase's L2 chain, Base, experienced problems for a period of over an hour yesterday, as the network halted block production.

At 21:36 UTC yesterday, Base provided at update on "Investigating - We are investigating a stall in production of blocks. Users may have issues submitting transactions. We are actively investigating and will provide updates as we have them".

Screenshot from Base status site

The issue was identified shortly afterwards and a fix deployed. Base reported that no funds were at risk during the outage. Ongoing problems with remote procedure calls (RPCs) delayed a final "Resolved" message from being issued until over three hours since the incident was first noted.

Screenshot of Base uptime stats
This is the first major technical problem that Base has experienced.

Base only officially launched its mainnet less than a month ago, and this is its first serious technical problem. The outage draws attention to the fact that Base is still highly centralized around its development team, as well as its sole sequencer (the software responsible for processing transactions). More broadly, it highlights a problem common to many blockchain networks, which have similar points of failure in one or other domains.

Coinbase Clout

Thanks to its backing from Coinbase, and close integration with the exchange, Base has enjoyed a stellar start. Data from DeFiLlama shows that TVL has doubled in less than a week to over $400 million.

Base is the eighth-largest chain by TVL, and hosts $150 million in stablecoins and more than 100 dApps.

Despite the publicity and user numbers gained through its association with Coinbase, it hasn't all been plain sailing for Base. Even before the official launch of its bridge, tech-savvy users figured out how to move funds to the chain, culminating in a memecoin P&D that netted the scammer an impressive $6 million.

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